EMF Health-effects Research

Effect of chronic microwave radiation on T cell-mediated immunity in the rabbit.

Nageswari KS, Sarma KR, Rajvanshi VS, Sharan R, Sharma M, Barathwal V, Singh V

Int J Biometeorol 35(2):92-97, 1991

Experiments were conducted to elucidate the effects of chronic low power-level microwave radiation on the immunological systems of rabbits. Fourteen male Belgian white rabbits were exposed to microwave radiation at 5 mW/cm2, 2.1 GHz, 3 h daily, 6 days/week for 3 months in two batches of 7 each in specially designed miniature anechoic chambers.

Seven rabbits were subjected to sham exposure for identical duration. The microwave energy was provided through S band standard gain horns connected to a 4K3SJ2 Klystron power amplifier.

The first batch of animals were assessed for T lymphocyte-mediated cellular immune response mechanisms and the second batch of animals for B lymphocyte-mediated humoral immune response mechanisms. The peripheral blood samples collected monthly during microwave/sham exposure and during follow-up (5/14 days after termination of exposures, in the second batch animals only) were analysed for T lymphocyte numbers and their mitogen responsiveness to ConA and PHA.

Significant suppression of T lymphocyte numbers was noted in the microwave group at 2 months (P less than 0.01, delta % 21.5%) and during follow-up (P less than 0.01, delta % 30.2%). The first batch animals were initially sensitised with BCG and challenged with tuberculin (0.03 ml) at the termination of microwave irradiation/sham exposure and the increase in foot pad thickness (delta mm), which is a measure of T cell-mediated immunity (delayed type hypersensitivity response, DTH) was noted in both the groups.

The microwave group revealed a better response than the control group (delta % +12.4 vs. +7.54). The animals were sacrificed and the tissue T lymphocyte counts (spleen and lymph node) were analysed.

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